Introduction & Overview of Maternity by Anna Swir

Anna Swir
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Maternity Summary & Study Guide Description

Maternity Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

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"Maternity" by Anna Swir has appeared in two of the English translations of her works: Talking to My Body and Happy as a Dog's Tail. The title of the poem is appropriate to its content since the poem is about a woman facing her newborn child for the first time and trying to come to terms with this new situation. While the publication date of the poem is not mentioned in the English translations, it is known that Anna Swir had a daughter who is the likely subject of the poem. This daughter would have been born sometime in the 1930s or 1940s, but the poem was probably written a long time afterward. Its first appearance was in the 1970 Polish publication of a collection called Wind. Happy as a Dog's Tail was published in Poland in 1978 and published in the United States in 1985. Talking to My Body was published in the United States in 1996.

In the first publication of "Maternity," the poem had two additional stanzas that were removed for Talking to My Body. These two stanzas seem only to repeat the already established message and do little to add to the poem. Furthermore, the additional two stanzas spell out a conclusion rather than allowing the readers to figure it out on their own. Consequently, the shortened version seems to have a more dramatic ending and more impact on the reader's imagination. Perhaps for these reasons, the two stanzas were dropped in the second English collection of Swir's poems. "Maternity" fits into Swir's central theme in these two collections, which is referencing the body, but it also inludes themes of motherhood, love, and independence.

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This section contains 278 words
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Maternity from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.